Recognizing Limiting-Beliefs

By Kristen
Content Written/Updated on May 13, 2007

Limiting-beliefs are ideas that hold you back, ideas that keep you from becoming the person you want to be or doing the things you want to do. Most of the time, they're not even true; they're myths that we let control our lives. Many times, we aren't even consciously aware that we have these beliefs. They often exist in our subconscious, directing our automatic judgments and influencing our decisions.

How Do You Know if You Have Limiting-Beliefs?

If you have ever found yourself saying "I can't" or "There's nothing I can do" or even if you catch yourself using words like never, always, all, and none then you probably have some limiting-beliefs.

If you feel that your life isn't how you want it, and you feel helpless or hopeless about it, then you probably have limiting-beliefs.

How Can I Recognize Limiting-Beliefs?

The first indication that you have a limiting-belief is a feeling. Sometimes you may feel anxious or angry when faced with something that you have limiting-beliefs about. Sometimes you may just feel overwhelmed, irritated, or depressed without knowing why.

When you notice that you are having uncomfortable feelings, stop what you're doing and ask yourself, "Why?"

"Why does being around men make me feel uncomfortable?"

"Why do I get angry when I have to go to work?"

"Why do I feel anxious whenever I have to talk to my relatives?"

Take time to honestly answer those questions, and you will start to discover the limiting-beliefs that keep you from having the life that you want. Once you begin to recognize your limiting beliefs, you can start to think about how true they are and whether or not you need to change them, so you can start living the life you want and having more happiness.

Examples of Limiting-Beliefs and Influenced Decisions